Meet Harvinder Mankkar Cartoon creator of ‘Motu Patlu’

By Manju Mittal

Multitalented Dr. Harvinder Mankkar doesn’t need any introduction. He is a popular cartoonist, illustrator, writer and director. He is a living legend of his field. His cartoon characters ‘Motu Patlu’ are quite famous in the Animation world. His comic characters ‘Motu Patlu’ published in ‘Lot-pot’ magazine; are now one of the most celebrated characters followed by Indian kids who are devoted readers of the kids’ magazine. Harvinder was born in Delhi to a Punjabi Hindu family. He had a desire to draw cartoons from an early age.

I have known Harwinder for a few years now and hence decided to talk to Dr. Mankkar about his profession at his residence in Delhi one year ago on my visit to India. He talked about his passion and his journey in Bollywood and Hollywood.

When asked why he became a cartoonist? He answered, “I had a desire to draw cartoons from the age of 16. I always enjoyed drawing and the creativity it involves to create funny looking situations and characters.  It’s just you and a blank space on a sheet of a paper and that’s where your journey begins. I used to draw faces from coal pieces and gradually with time that coal was replaced with the brush and ink”.

Harvinder sent his first cartoon to ‘Madhu Muskan’ which led to the start of his great career. After that his cartoons got published in ‘Lot Pot’ in 1980, ‘Bal Bharti’, ‘Champak’ and many more children magazines. He is the founder of the Art Studio Company and creative director and chief Illustrator for ‘Lot Pot’ Magazine. He is also Editorial Director of the film magazine ‘Mayapuri’.

After achieving heights as a cartoonist he went into script writing. He wrote and directed the films ‘Khoj’ and ‘Dark Mirror’ entirely shot on Mobile phone which are first of their kind. Harwinder Mankkar solely managed the roles of script writer, dialogue-writer and lyricist. He has illustrated almost twenty thousand pocket cartoons, comic strips, educational books and story books.

Dr. Harvinder Mankkar illustrated the life history of India’s 11th President Dr. Abdul Kalam by the name of “Aps Abdul Kalam-Rameshwaram to Rashitrapati Bhawan”, it was inaugurated by Abdul Kalam himself. Harvinder has won many accolades during his career. He created special drawings that were used by Pan Nalin for his Hollywood film ‘Samsara’ released in 2001.

Harvinder told me that ‘Lot-pot’ magazine has completed more than 50 years and the placement of ‘Motu Patlu’ figures in Madame Tussaude achieved another milestone for him, now one can see kid’s favourite comic characters Motu and Patlu as the wax statue of these characters in Delhi’s Madame Tussaude. Harvinder gave special credit to Lot-pot magazine’s publisher and Editor Mr P.K Bajaj, it’s a great experience working with him. Said Harvinder, “He is very friendly and dear to me.”

Harvinder has come a long way from realising his childhood passion of drawing cartoons to today as a well known cartoonist, script writer and a lyricist having faced many challenges throughout his journey. We wish him best of luck in all his future endeavours.

 

 

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